Traffic Travis review: how to find juicy backlinks
In this article I want to talk about a tool I regularly use for my search engine optimization, called Traffic Travis. Even though I believe that just by creating great content you can be successful in attaining organic search engine traffic, it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep track of what the competition is doing, and thus I use Traffic Travis to find nice backlinking opportunities, allowing me to get in on the action 😉
While I’m sure I could find even greater use for the full-featured paid edition of Traffic Travis, I’m only using the free version right now.
(Full disclosure: I have a chance of winning the paid edition of the software, by writing a blog article about it. Nevertheless, I only express my honest opinion of the software, so I’ll be keeping the article online after the competition has finished [edit 8/6/2013: I have been informed I did indeed win a copy of Traffic Travis Pro, hurray!)
Now, as you may know by now, I am (mostly) a Mac user these days and Traffic Travis is a Windows-only application. However, using the fantastic (free) Virtualbox software, I am perfectly able to run the software on my 2012 Macbook Air in an instance of Windows XP. The system requirements seem not to be excessive either, because my MacBook air isn’t breaking a sweat when I run the application.
Having a native Mac version of the software would be preferable of course, but for now, virtualization is working just fine.
One of the things I especially like about Traffic Travis is the fact that it is perfectly suited for a novice. When you first run the software you get to see several video tutorial for just about any function of the program. If you’re just getting started with your website or search engine optimization, this is very handy. Without these video tutorials, you would probably need to dive into the manual or search for help online. This just goes to show that the software is a lot more polished than some of its competitors.
The software is still being actively developed as well, with new updates coming out regularly. This is crucial for an application of its kind, because changes to the systems it relies on (Google Adwords etc), can render it useless quickly. Luckily, updates are handled automatically from within the software.
Why do I need backlinks?
Backlinks are links that point to your page(s) from other websites. They are important, because search engines view them as a “vote” for your site. Thus, getting some backlinks will generally help you climb the search engine rankings, especially if the links come from reputable and/or contextually relevant websites.
There are even some tools out there that automatically build backlinks for you, by leaving comments on blogs for example. These tools should be used with extreme caution though (or not at all!), because as soon as the search engines detect a low quality backlinking pattern, your search engine rankings are very likely to drop.
Spying on the competition
So how do you get good backlinks without resorting to spam tools? Let Traffic Travis find those linking opportunities for you!
To do this, I use two modules of the software that are available in the free version. Both can be found under the “SEO” tab. The first one is appropriately labelled “Backlinks”. To use this tool, you just need to give the program a list of competing websites and hit “Fetch”. Traffic Travis then goes out and analyzes the webpages. It will give you a list of all the webpages linking to those sites, as well as the pagerank, Alexa rank and page authority for each one. These metrics allow you to see what backlinks are the most powerful (high pagerank/page authority).
Then, you can go out and visit those pages to see if you can place a link there as well.
You can also use this tool when you’re doing in-depth research before entering a niche market. By looking at the types and numbers of backlinks that established websites in that niche have, you can estimate how hard it will be to rank your website in that specific market.
Finding other backlink opportunities
The next tool I use is the “Link Finder” (also under the “SEO” tab).
This tool basically goes out and finds linking opportunities for keywords (or keyphrases) you specify. Again, you get a list of webpages, complete with the pagerank and authority for each result it comes up with.
I’m not really sure how the software finds these results, but they basically give you a chance to get an edge over your competition, by finding fresh backlinks that they haven’t tapped already.
I feel Traffic Travis is one of the “good guys” in the SEO market. It doesn’t do anything spammy, like actually going out on the internet and building links for you, but it gives you the research tools you need to properly assess the competition, helping you stay competitive. In this article I’ve basically only touched the surface of its features, because there’s a lot more in there, like tracking your website rankings, keyword analysis and so on.
If this short Traffic Travis review has sparked your interest, be sure to give their free version a spin! The only downside is that you will have to give up your email address to get a free account, so be prepared to receive some commercial emails. Fortunately, you can easily unsubscribe at the bottom of every email if it bothers you.